Firms turn to flexible working and BYOD to placate mobile workplace rebels

TantrumA new week and a new raft of surveys. Thankfully some of them throw up some rather interesting juxtapositions. Take the latest from Virgin Media which claims nearly half of UK office workers are now significantly free to choose how and where they work with over two thirds of organisations convinced that offering more technological choices and flexible working results in happier and more productive staff. Meanwhile, another survey from tech firm (what else?) VMware claims that over a third of UK employees would consider leaving their jobs if they couldn’t get their own way over using mobile devices at work.

The VMWare survey of 1,500 IT decision makers and 3,000 employees across the whole of Europe suggests that firms are responding by implementing  flexible working and BYOD policies. In the UK, over two-thirds (70 percent) of IT managers claimed they had already implemented or planned to implement a BYOD strategy, with a third claiming that this was a direct attempt to attract and retain people.

This is just as well given that the survey also claims that as many as 39 percent of ‘mobile rebels’ would walk if they weren’t allowed to use their mobile devices at work. Even so, two-thirds also believe their employers don’t offer them the right tools and support to help them as much as they could, while half of IT managers thought they were unable to meet the needs of staff.

All this makes the Virgin Media survey’s claim that under half of people are able to work from home and on the move seem a bit on the low side. The survey of 500 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) reports that 40 percent of respondents had heard staff complaining about being tied to their desk. While two thirds (70 percent) of respondents say they believe staff would be happier and more productive, if not fitter, if they were allowed to work more flexibly, nearly half of organisations are reluctant to allow them to do so because of security concerns.